April Showers

rain on apple blossoms

have been delaying projects on the farm.  We did managed to fix the barn faucet which was leaking but are on hold with rototilling the garden.  As soon as it starts to dry out, it rains again.  The sheared sheep are not happy with the rain, and the grass is not growing as well as we would like.  We have started rotating the cows and rams and will start rotating the sheep and goats tomorrow, but there is not much grass so we will have to continue to supplement with hay.

sheared sheep

The skinny sheep and goats will be held back and fed hay and some grain separately.  Gertie, the rescued goat, is finally plumping out and has good hair growth more than one year after we got her back.  She still is psychologically damaged though.


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Vanessa has Cancer


Vanessa, our 13-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was diagnosed with cancer this afternoon.  She had been limping and not bearing weight on her right rear leg for about 1 week.  She had knee problems previously so we initially were thinking it was that.  But it seemed worse this time, more that her hip hurt than her knee, and her appetite has been off.  So Tom and I did talk about that it could be something worse like cancer to prepare ourselves for tough decisions.  Initially the vet thought it might be her knee since she had some instability there, but when he checked her hip, she was much more painful there.  So the above x-ray was done which shows a large mass off of her pelvic bone.  It is most likely an osteosarcoma.  The only good news was that there was no evidence of metastases to her lungs yet.  He said she could live 10 days or 10 months, and that uncontrollable pain or lung involvement would be the end point.  In the meantime we will make her as comfortable as possible with pain medications and spoil her rotten.  Vanessa is the best dog I have ever known, and I really want to do right by her.  Right now she seems happy, and I will do my best to try to keep it that way.  Here is an iPhone photo of her at the veterinary clinic.

Vanessa at vet

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Skirting Season Begins

here at Schoonover Farm.  I had three Shetland fleeces finally dry after a very wet March.  They had belonged to Diddley (our friendliest sheep), Velvet, and Logan.  I will put Diddley’s black fleece for sale at Our Fiber for Sale page.  Velvet’s I will hang on to for a bit.  I am hoping to bring a couple of fleeces to Black Sheep Gathering this year for Judith MacKenzie to judge, and Velvet’s unique ram lamb fleece is in contention for this.  Unfortunately Logan’s fleece was partly felted and not good enough to sell.  As the fleeces dry, I will skirt, judge and photograph them, and the good enough ones will be put up for sale.  Here’s the pictures from today:


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